Life has felt a lot like life on repeat lately. We’re long back into our rhythms here, and making new ones. Our time in The States feels half a world away. (Little joke there.) Our injuries and memories from the car accident are rearing up less and less. And we’ve integrated the necessary practices into everyday life to continue to let that physical and mental trauma heal.
The new school year started at Grace International School — the first year in the new campus. And Brian already coached the varsity cross country team through their annual meet in Bangkok. He traveled with 14 students, co-coaches and a handful of parents. Leading up to the event it was common to find him poring over literature about leading student athletes to their highest potential.
A parent of one of Brian’s athletes who I cycle with shared that his daughter told him she wanted to grow up to be a runner, like Mr. Elliott. I’ve discovered a number of such fan-to-flame moments thanks to God’s design of my fast, dedicated and determined guy.
Along the lines of determined (but infinitely less fast), I signed up for a Half Ironman next February. It’s been some time since I trained and raced triathlon. 6 years to be exact. And my last race, shortly after moving here, ended mid-bike with a cracked bike frame thanks to mega potholes on the course. The sorrow.
I knew I missed the sport but I didn’t realize how much life and strength and meaning is wrapped up in it for me. And the memories. Memories of early morning swims (despite those bitter Arizona winters 😉), favorite rides (South Mountain TV Towers!), and Tempe Town Lake runs, and always the community of it. Need I mention meeting Brian at the finish line of an Ironman? That was a pretty important moment.
I’m also realizing the game has changed…or at least what it looks like getting to the game. I’m no longer a single, working gal in my 20s. I’m a 34-year old married and newbie homeschooling mom to a 4- and 6-year old in a foreign country. There’s more to this now.
And I’m inviting you into the more.
Somewhere in the repetitive stride of my favorite running shoes and the quiet of a pre-dawn hour, I started connecting some dots: Venture is about doing tough things for people in tough places. My regular tough thing is staying in my God-given lane — the lane of caring for my family and showing them Jesus. That’s first. And it plenty feels like a fight to keep it such. There’s constantly the pull to do more or other. And for myriad reasons, I want to say yes. But that yes inevitably turns areas of my first thing into my second thing. And I’m not cool with that. (Except when — again, for myriad reasons — I’ve said yes and am trying to convince Brian that I can do it all cool as a cucumber. We both know by now I can’t. Sorry for all those times, Babe.)
Anyway. The cool thing is that for this and for right now I can do more. I can raise funds for every mile that I swim, bike and run. I especially love that I don’t have to do any smooth talking for this ‘doing more’ because these miles are happening either way.
This was staring me in the face, really. The awesome folks at Venture created the Venture Miles app to do just this — log miles and raise funds to impact lives. I happen to be serving with Venture and happen to be doing a Half Ironman and happen to hear our friend and teammate Aaron talk about the Venture Miles app (that he’s put blood, sweat and prayers into). Okay God, dots connected. Sorry for the delay.
So here’s the invitation: You consider how much you can donate per mile and then watch as my miles accumulate and your contribution accrues to impact trafficked individuals in Southeast Asia — both their physical and spiritual bodies.
My goal is to hit 750 miles by February 24th. Your donation, at any rate, will not exceed those 750 miles (you know, protection for you in case I decide to throw in an extra 1,000miles of training before the end of February). So, donations could look like this:
$0.05/mile would be $37.50
$0.15/mile would be 112.50
$.0.25/mile would be 187.50
$0.50/mile would be $375
$0.75 would be $562.50
$1/mile would be $750
You can donate at any rate or can even opt for a one-time donation, forgetting all about the miles bit. All donations are processed by Venture and are tax deductible.
Intrigued to explore this further? I’m honored that you might. There are more details about the ministry benefitted and how it all works on my Ventures Miles page – https://venturemiles.org/myVM/MilesIntoTheLight